From the shop floor...
Kate, long-term member of Team Willow and now shop volunteer, tells us why she she enjoys representing Willow in her local community:
"When I heard Willow was opening a charity shop in Welwyn Garden City, I immediately decided to volunteer. As a long standing volunteer and fundraiser for Willow, it seemed the obvious way to give a little of my time regularly.
I must admit there is a lot more involved than I expected but I have been well trained (by fab Shop Manager, Lisa) and made a great friend in Liz, my volunteer partner in crime.
My first job is checking all the clothes are hanging in the correctly, in size order, with the hangers all facing in the right direction. This attention to detail is really important and we get lots of compliments from people saying how much they appreciate it as well as the high quality, too. Next I tidy up the bric-a-brac while Liz starts on the dusting. And then there are the toys… one Monday I spent more than an hour pricing all the cuddly toys there were so many.
The part I enjoy the most is meeting our customers. Liz and I are so grateful to the people who make donations, however large or small, and love to tell them that they are making a contribution to such a worthwhile charity.
Some of our customers have become regulars and we look forward to seeing them (and worry about them if we don’t!). We have one lovely lady who always comes in for jewellery so we try and look out for things she might like when we can.
I once found the till quite threatening but it is mostly mastered now. After several weeks of dreading credit card purchases, we now take it in our stride, although it’s always a relief when the machine whirrs into life...
At the end of the morning I am ready to go home, pretty tired but leaving in the knowledge that we have helped in some small way, passing the reins on to the afternoon volunteers to continue the job of raising money and awareness for Willow.
Do pop in to see me if you live locally or happen to be passing on a Monday, too – it’s always lovely to see new faces.
P.S. All the photos of me are at other Willow fundraising events - turns out there's no time for posing for photos in the shop!"